Thinking Differently about Autism
Wednesday, 20 April 2022
4:00pm - 5:30pm GMT
About the event
Many people are now familiar with the term neurodiversity. It is used as a shorthand for 'Neurological Diversity' and the belief that differences in our brains should be recognised and respected in the same was as we respect differences like race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, or disability. But not many people know how the word was coined. In 1998 Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist, contributed a chapter to an academic series on disability, human rights and society. In this chapter, she stated:
"For me, the significance of the "Autistic Spectrum" lies in its called for and anticipation of politics of Neurological Diversity of "Neurodiversity". The "Neurologically Different" represent a new addition to the familiar political categories of class / gender / race and will augment the insights of the social model of disability."
Fast forward 20 years later, Siena Castellon, a neurodivergent teenager, felt demoralised by an education system that focused almost exclusively on her challenges, labelled her neurological differences as 'deficits' and overlooked her strengths. Believing that neurodivergent students have many unique talents and attributes (such as creativity, innovative approaches, the ability to think-outside-the-box and problem-solving skills), she resolved to flip the narrative. To create a more balanced and positive view of neurodivergent students, she sought to highlight that with the proper support and encouragement, all students have the potential to have successful careers and make significant contributions to society. In November 2018, Siena launched Neurodiversity Celebration Week, a worldwide initiative that now has over 2,000 schools and 60 universities and more than 1.2 million students taking part, as well as hundreds of businesses.
In a special inter-generational conversation, Judy and Siena will share their stories and experiences to open Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2022. We hope you will join us to hear their thoughts on how their work has evolved and their hopes for the future of the neurodiversity movement.
This is a free online event via Zoom.
Hosted By: Name, Role